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Recent Tasting Notes
These are exactly what I was hoping for. They have a strong Jasmine scent both in the dry leaf/ball and also in the steeped liquid. It is not overly strong. Sometimes something floral can go over into a perfume type flavor and scent. Not the case with these. I am a huge Jasmine tea fan and these hit the spot. I imagine they could be a bit bitter with over steeping or over leafing but when done right, these are pretty good.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Sweet
This is growing on me, still have yet to do a side by side comparison with Tea Guys (maybe I will tomorrow) but the lack of black tea with the heavy bergamot is actually quite nice. It’s got a “dry” consistency but it doesn’t leave my mouth feeling dry. I can’t taste the rooibos at all – for better or for worse.
I tried this today after I picked up a sample from Adagio as per suggestion by rosebudmelissa. Normally Earl Grey’s are hit or miss since I don’t really love bergamot, but this was good and the rooibos definitely overpowered the bergamot. I definitely like this more than the Earl Grey Creme from Tea Guys.
Sipdown no. 208. I dumped what was left of this sample in the dark oolong yixing.
I’m steeping it at the same intervals starting with 15 seconds and moving up 5 each time, but with a bit hotter water than I’ve been using, 208F.
This is definitely a better temp for this tea than what I used the first time. Even after steeping in the hardly used yixing, which I expected to leach pretty much all of the flavor out of anything I drink in it for the near term, the tea is far more interesting than it was when I tried it at a lower temp.
I’d be interested to hear what experienced yixing users have to say about the effect of the yixing on their tea. For me, it is pretty much consistently adding a mellowness and roundness to the flavor that I think will be excellent once the initial leaching part is over. For the nonce, I’m trying to correct in my mind for some degree of flavor-sapping.
How would you describe how your yixing affects your tea?
Yesterday I tried this in the gaiwan and it was so unremarkable I didn’t even bother writing a note about it.
In was, in fact, so uninteresting that I decided I was doing something wrong. So I spent some time reading about Da Hong Pao.
As a result, I upped the leaf to 5g for a 100ml gaiwan. I also upped the water temp to over 205F.
It’s better this way for sure.
The tea is an apricot color. First steep @15 secs. has some roasty notes, but also something floral and fruity, which was all but lacking yesterday.
Second steep @20 secs is amber colored with a stronger floral roasty scent and a woodsy flavor. Also, for the first time, I understand the “wet rocks” thing. It’s a hot mineral-y note sort of like rain on hot pavement.
Third steep @ 25 secs continues to have a floral aroma, similar to what I usually find in much greener oolongs.The flavor has a woodsy note with some fruitiness, like sucking on a peach pit. And the wet rock thing again. The aftertaste has a surprising sugary note.
Fourth steep @30 secs is a little less strong in the floral aroma, with a sweet toastiness in the flavor. I’m not getting plum, but I can see why people do. The aroma turns a bit plummy/raisiny as it cools.
Fifth steep @35 secs has a similar aroma and flavor to 4. The empty cup smells of plums/raisins. The wet leaves smell like hot minerals.
It wasn’t as interesting to my tastes as the JK Teashop one I had recently, but based on this experience and the other I had recently with hotter water for an oolong, I’m thinking I could go a bit hotter than 195F with the water for all my oolongs at least as an experiment and see what happens.
I might try this in the dark oolong yixing next time, which I fear still needs to suck away a fair amount of flavor before it can start giving back.
Flavors: Floral, Peach, Plums, Raisins, Roasted, Stonefruits, Toasty, Wet Rocks, Wood
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Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Vegetal
On the 6th day of sipdowns (backlog)…
I had this yesterday as I ran out the door on weekend number 5 of apartment hunting and it was the best tasting cup of this I’ve had to date. There wasn’t much pumpkin-y flavor, but the stereotypical pumpkin spice flavor was there, a bit overwhelmed by the black tea, but sill there. I grabbed this in the holiday sampler last year, and I wouldn’t buy it on it’s own, but if it was packaged up with some others I liked again for a good price I might snag it.